VANESSA Feltz dished out a clear warning to This Morning viewers over the wording of fake Royal Mail text messages – insisting “nothing is that urgent.”
The broadcaster, 59, took to Tuesday’s episode of the ITV daytime series to detail the scam in which criminals pose as Royal Mail in a bid to steal personal and bank details.
The Sun reported how millions of people waiting for parcels had been targeted while police arrested eight individuals – including a 15-year-old – this week in association with the crimes.
The latter fact stunned This Morning host, Holly Willoughby, who sat opposite Vanessa on the show sofa.
Previously, experts have cautioned that scammers are trying to capitalise on the increase in online orders and deliveries during the pandemic to try to steal money and even people’s identities.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said it has received evidence of the scam, which uses a text message to claim a parcel is awaiting delivery but a “settlement” must first be paid.
The message includes a link which leads to a fraudulent website posing as a Royal Mail page and asks for personal and bank details.
The callous scammers could then use the details for further fraud and crimes.
In her typically admirably direct style, Vanessa dished out her advice and told telly viewers: “We must remember all the police sergeants I’ve ever talked to about this say nothing is ever that urgent.
“So you get a message you’re not expecting saying, ‘you’ve got to urgently contact this, you’ve got to quickly join this link’ or whatever it is.
“Nothing is that urgent.
“If something is really important you will be contacted in the normal, legitimate manner, but you know when people are dashing about they think, ‘Oh my God, quick!’ then they’ve done it before they’ve even had a chance to think.
“Nothing is that urgent, that’s the thing to remember.”
Previously, CTSI lead officer Katherine Hart said: “This delivery scam is yet another example of fraudsters attempting to make money out of the unsuspecting public. Due to the lockdowns, many millions of people rely on product deliveries, so scammers have focused their efforts on this theme.
“Royal Mail will only ever contact you via text or email if a customs fee is due, not for domestic parcel delivery. If you have any suspicions, contact Royal Mail to verify before you click any links or share details.
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“Also, the public must also be aware that these types of scams may come in many forms, and scammers do not only use Royal Mail branding.
Indeed, in January, I commented on a similar scam that used DPD branding.
“These types of scams come in many forms, not just via text but also in emails and through the phone.”
People are encouraged to report scams to Action Fraud, or for email scams contact the National Cyber Security Centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.